After cancelling this year’s Interbike, Emerald Expositions has come up with two ideas in its place. Both include combining with the Outdoor Retailer trade shows in Denver.
Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reported that one option would be to include a bike element at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, from Nov. 5 to 7 in Denver. A second option would be to feature bikes during the demo preceding Summer Market, scheduled for June 18 to 20.
Several bike shops told SNEWS that June is the industry’s busy season, whereas November is after most big companies have sent out public releases about new products. While both times aren’t ideal, the combination of the two shows has potential and could be a good way to buoy the bike industry, members have said.
“I think it’s a good idea probably,” said Lisa Martens, owner of Nat’s Outdoor Sports. “[Interbike is] a hard show just on its own and if you combined it, you might get more traffic.” But she also added, “The only concern I have there is I wouldn’t personally be able to make appointments on top of the OR show because I’m already booked.”
The store in Bowling Green, Kentucky, sells bikes along with ski apparel and outdoor gear and clothing. Martens said as the trade show landscape shifts and consolidates, she’s constantly having to decide which events are worth being away from the store. She said it was easier when the shows were separate—Grassroots Outdoor Alliance’s Connect Show being held a separate month than Outdoor Retailer, as an example.
Operations Manager Spencer Burns at Full Cycle, a bike shop in downtown Boulder, attended the last Interbike in September 2018 in Reno-Tahoe and left feeling like it was too small and niche to be worth the time and money. Of the cons, he said only about six big brands were exhibiting and the rest of the show floor was dedicated to either smaller companies or complementing brands, such as accessories and food products. Of the pros, he mentioned the number of classes and training sessions for management and mechanics. But the opportunities to test out bikes were not as plentiful.
“At Interbike it didn’t seem like you could get hands-on, even at the demo. Going out and testing bikes is what makes a decision and if we can’t do that, we’re not going to be swayed.”
“The outdoor active lifestyle consumer is not confined to the industry’s historic approach to trade shows,” Carpenter-Ogden said. “Our people bike, run, camp, ski and snowboard, ice climb, ride dirt bikes, tour around in Sprinter vans, love public lands and the environment. It makes very little sense to separate our industries with stand-alone trade shows when our demographics have so much in common. The more intermingling of our industries, the better.”
Emerald is collecting input from industry members, and the company is retaining former Interbike sales director Andria Klinger for those conversations and former senior art director Andy Buckner for other projects, according to BRAIN.